Mung Dal lentil risotto
The year started very slowly and then all of the sudden it all kicked off! Today was a particularly manic day and I knew I needed to clear my head. usually any cooking helps me with this but today I wanted something that demanded my attention and what better than a risotto? The gentle stir with the spoon in a pot of wonderfully smelling risotto coming to life in front of your eyes.
Said and done I had a roam around in the cupboards, no abori rice but I did find some Mung Dal, lentils that I bought in the Asian food market simply because I had never cooked with them before. I decided to make a lentil risotto. I also found a can of coconut milk and from the fridge some vegetables. I did have some cheese ready to go but I wanted to see if it was really necessary.
I did discuss the lentils with the guy at the till and I know that they didn’t need soaking. I didn’t know how long the cooking time would be but I thought I would stir and taste until it was cooked and it was quicker than expected.
Mung Dal, lentil risotto
preparation time 10 minutes
cooking time 25 minutes
- 2 dl or 1 cup of lentils
- 5 dl or 2.5 cups of boiling water
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1/2 carrot
- 1/2 onion
- 1 celery stick
- a few mushrooms
- 1 good handful of spinach
- 1 red chilli
- 1 bunch of coriander or parsley
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (or according to taste)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp yuzu or 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 handful of cashew nuts
- 4 leaves of romanie lettuce
- 2 spring onions
- grated zest from 1/2 lemon
- salt to taste
Peel the carrot and cube it fine with the celery, the mushrooms and the onion. Let the vegetables cook soft in the oil but don’t let them get any color.
Rinse the lentils under the tap and add to the vegetables and give it a stir in the pan. Add the cayenne and turmeric.
Add 1 dl or 1/2 cup or boiling water at the time and stir and when the water reduces add more water.
Rinse the spinach, slice the spring onion and chop the chili fine. Give the coriander a rough chop and set aside. Rinse and chop the lettuce leaves, they are delicious just wilted.
Whilst the risotto is cooking add the soy sauce and the yuzu sauce, some salt to taste. Open the can of coconut milk, open it in the bottom and start adding the coconut instead of the water and make sure it is soaked in. Keep the thick coconut in the tin until later.
After 20 minutes add the chilli, spinach, mix it in to the risotto and make sure it wilts. Once the spinach has gone soft add the lettuce, the cashew nuts and the corainder. Bring it back to boil if it has gone too cool and let cook until the lentils are cooked.
Taste with salt and last add the thick coconut milk, it will melt in to the risotto and give it a great coconut taste and add creaminess so you don’t have to add any cheese. Just before serving stir in the spring onion and the lemon zest and serve.
The lentils made the dish incredibly light and it worked perfectly for a risotto. I didn’t miss the cheese at all and it was very filling. The cashew nuts added a bite and the spring onion crunch. I did remove the seeds from the chilli so it wasn’t too hot but there was a nice undertone from the cayenne pepper. All that stirring in the pan and the soothing risotto was perfect to take my mind of whatever it was taking so much energy before!